i know of a man who recently went to be with the Lord. about a year before his death, his wife had a dream that when he entered heaven he was greeted by the many many people that he shared the gospel with and led to the Lord. what a beautiful welcome into glory! can you even imagine seeing people in the presence of the Lord who you spent time praying for, sharing with, and discipling? a reward like that makes a life seem so worth all the hardship and sacrifice that surely came with it.
i lay in bed one night after hearing this story so moved by the life of this man who lived his life for the gospel, and reflected on the simple unimpressive life that i lead. my heart envied the life this man lived - a good righteous life that influenced others to walk with Jesus. i thought about my days - so routine, so monotonous, and without much reach or influence. laying there in bed i asked the Lord, "when i get to the end of my life, who will i have i even led to You?"
a sadness filled my heart - not the kind of sadness that is akin to self-pity, but the sadness of a child who wants to be pleasing to her Father and yet feels as if she has so little to show for her efforts. i am reminded of the apostle paul who said that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. i just felt small and weak. my desire to live a life like this man was definitely there - but i wondered where was the opportunity to be faithful as he had been.
then i heard it as clear as if you were speaking to me, and yet it was that still small Voice that one can only hear with her inside ears:
"you are leading your kids to Me."
the anxious thoughts left. the burden of shame at the smallness of my days lifted. it was enough. the Holy Spirit reminded me that if i am faithful with the assignment that lays before me, it would be counted as righteous and the joy of His reward would be sweet.
i have thought back to that moment several times the past couple weeks. so often we envy others whose ministry and reach look big to us. these men and women are being faithful to what the Lord has laid before them, and He will reward their faithfulness. but the size of the ministry He has given us does not determine the eternal significance of His calling on our lives to lead those in our influence to Him. mother teresa said,
i am not sure what the assignment is that the Lord has put before you. it may be so large that you feel small and unable to do what He has asked. it may look so small in the eyes of man that you wonder if it will have meaning in the end."If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
all i can tell you is this - He will give you opportunity to share the gospel with the one who is before you and encourage that one to live a life faithful in following our Savior, and leading even the one to following Him will have great reward for all eternity. we all have people in our lives whose eternity may be affected by our faithful witness of Jesus. He sees what men do not see. this you can count on.